East Africa / Ethiopia / Event / ILRI / ILRIComms / Knowledge and Information

Reporting and communication help power FAO agriknowledge ShareFair in Addis Ababa

Group Discussion on Agriculture Water Management

group discussions to identify good practices

In October 2012 the Knowledge Management and Information Services (KMIS) team at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa worked day and night to help make a success of an AgriKnowledge ShareFair ‘Towards Food and Nutrition Security in the Horn of Africa.’

The Horn of Africa has suffered several droughts in the last 10 years. Each time, governments, the international community and NGOs agreed that long term measures were needed to prevent another tragedy.

In October 2012, FAO and other partners convened an ‘AgriKnowledge ShareFair‘ that brought together people from fifteen countries from Africa’s most drought prone regions to address recurrent droughts and chronic food insecurity in the Horn of Africa. They discussed and shared good practices and ways to scale them.

The event took place on the ILRI Ethiopia campus; it also received substantial organization and communication support from ILRI.

Some of the organizers of the ShareFair

Some of the organizers of the ShareFair

Ideas for the event germinated in May 2012 during informal discussions; they concretized in August and September and turned into  a major logistical activity with 200+ participants, tents, stands, discussions, and of course heavy communication.

The KMIS team contributed to:

  • Preparing the overall event organization, design and facilitation;
  • Producing posters, banners and brochures
  • Setting up communication tools and platforms – a blog, wiki, and photo sharing;
  • Producing content updates through blogposts, twitter, a daily newsletter and video interviews;
  • Training FAO staff on how to use the tools.

It proved to be a challenging and a learning exercise – organizing the content, organizing and structuring the issues, and managing the print process. Luckily we were able to draw on other similar large events such as the Livestock Exchange and the AgKnowledge Africa share fair that adopted similar engaging and participatory approaches.

In the closing session, Dr. Castro Camarada, FAO Coordinator for Eastern Africa congratulated the team for their great communication support, especially for social reporters that helped make the event more visible.

The ILRI ‘communication’ team comprised: Apollo Habtamu, Liya Dejene, Peter Ballantyne, Tigist Endashaw, Tsehay Gashaw and Zerihun Sewunet. Colleagues in ILRI operations (housing, catering, ICT and engineering also played important roles in making the event a success!)

Read the Daily Tail:

See some of our photos

Most of our blog posts are here


Story by Tsehay Gashaw, Zerihun Sewunet, Liya Dejene and Peter Ballantyne

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